NeoBytes :) is an occasional feature that takes a step back from the big headlines, to take a look at what else is happening in the vast, scary expanse of the tech world - often with a cynical eye, always with a dose of humour.
At some point in our lives – and more often than some of us would care to admit – most of us have found ourselves walking down the street, staring at our phones, before suddenly realising, perhaps too late, that we're heading towards a bin, a lamppost or another pedestrian. Maybe some of you have even come close to stepping out into the street while looking at your phone, without taking care to look where you're going.
People walk around towns and cities everywhere, with their glare fixed upon the display of their phones. But one of China's largest cities has decided to tackle this problem – not by doing anything as excessive as a ban on looking at your phone while walking, but by introducing new pedestrian "lanes" on sidewalks, dedicated to those staring at their screens as they stroll through the streets.
The special mobile phone sidewalks are fully demarcated as separate dedicated lanes, alongside other no-cellphone lanes, and are even signposted.
However, there is one significant – and strangely brilliant – flaw in the plan, as seen in an experiment of a similar plan. As Engadget notes, National Geographic carried out a similar trial as an experiment in Washington D.C., with the same separation of cellphone/no-cellphone lanes. And what did they find? That people who walk down the streets while staring at their phones didn't even notice the markings at all.
We'll have to wait and see whether or not the people of Chongqing city in China will be more attentive to the markings of their cellphone lanes.
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